Waves of Geese

Taking Off

This goes with my last photograph and video.  This was taken at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge as thousands of geese took off at the same time.  This picture was taken early as the huge wave began to lift from the water.

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Take a Hike

Grand Canyon

Take a Hike: Grand Canyon National Park VIDEO

Here is something new that I have started.  After having several people ask me to start documenting some of my stories and sharing my adventures I started a YouTube series called Take a Hike.  This is the newest episode based around my trip to the Grand Canyon.  Take a look at my other episodes.

Discovering Yourself and the Outdoors

Encountering Yellowstone’s Wildlife

Yellowstone’s Changing Weather

Photographing Sunrise

Bird at Sunset

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Sunset and sunrise are a great time to get out and photograph.  In Kansas the wide open spaces allow a photographer to see for miles.  Even when I am not planning on spending much time in the field I do try to get out to find the a good spot in the mornings and evenings when I am home.  The flat land and vast spaces can create some amazing colors.

In this shot I was set up trying to capture the vibrant colors of the sunset with the land and fences silhouetted in the scene.  As I was shooting this bird landed on a fencepost within my eyesight.  I got it focused in my camera and started shooting as the sun went down.  The bird silhouetted in the orange clear sky made for a striking image in what I thought would be an uneventful night.

“Eyes Into the Soul”: Getting the Shot

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I have been lucky to photograph some amazing wildlife over the past several years.  This picture comes from what would have to be my most memorable encounter.  I actually thought when I was taking this shot that I might be on the lioness’ menu for dinner that evening.  When I look at this photograph I cannot get past the thought that she was staring me down from only a few feet away.

This lioness had been spotted near the road and there was a small group of jeeps near her when we pulled up.  Our guide maneuvered his vehicle to a good spot in front of her to allow us to get the best possible position for photographs.  The lioness laid in the shade for quite a while.  I waited for her to move with my camera poised for the shot.  What happened next was not completely expected, me being naive.

The lioness got up and walked toward our jeep.  I remember Jelly, our guide, tapping me on the knee and telling me to slowly back down and sit if she looked like she was going to get on the jeep.  She kept her attention solely on us then hissed at us the way cats do.  My heart began to beat faster and my mouth got dry.  I had to control the fear that was starting to take over.  Keeping my composure I began to back up, keeping in mind to do it slowly so I wouldn’t excite her.  Luckily, and uneventfully, some impala got her attention and she headed off to hunt.

This was an amazing experience, but it was also a great lesson. Enjoy.

Pamela Peters

Email Pamela: wildradiancephoto@gmail.com

For more information about Pamela go to http://www.wildradiancephotography.com.

Find her on Facebook at Wild Radiance Photography, llc or on twitter.com/ppeters

Photograph Special Moments, But Don’t Forget to Enjoy Them

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One of the most best moments I have had in my short time as a professional photographer was when I was given the opportunity to take a ten day photography safari in Kenya.  Early on I felt as though I had to photograph everything that I came across that I was not taking time to savor the experience.  I knew I was there to work, but I came to the realization that I had to enjoy my time there because I might not get the opportunity to go back.

Part of learning to take the time to enjoy the moment is that as you continue to shoot in the same place or the same event you become more selective.  That is not to say that you shouldn’t always have your camera at the ready.  You should.  You should also be willing to take in the moment.  As a speaker and photographer having the ability to explain the feeling in the moment can sell a photograph or make your audience passionate about what you are as well.

When I am asked what the most memorable moment thus far in my career has been I will without a doubt tell someone it was standing a few feet away from two white rhinos.  I knew going to Kenya I would see lions, elephants, and gazelle.  I knew there were animals I would be lucky to see, but I was not at all sure that I would see a rhino.  On the last day in the field I was told I would get to see a rhino.  However, after several hours travelling, sitting on a roadside, and two jeeps I was adamant the experience was not meant to be, but with only an hour before sunset I visited the one animal I had every hope of seeing, but little expectation to find.

As I move further into my second life as a wildlife photographer and speaker I cannot help but get emotionally involved with the animals I come into contact with.  I always do research before I travel and recommend it to anyone.  I have become increasingly involved in supporting and watching what is happening with rhino conservation.  As the numbers in Kenya dwindle I knew I was going to be lucky.  I also knew to see one would be extremely special.

That evening when we came across the male and female that were under special protection outside of the Masai Mara Reserve I knew I was lucky.  As the ranger brought us to the animals and the rhinos came into the clearing I started shooting.  I got the shots and always had the camera at the ready.  At some point I remember kneeling down to take some ground level shots and lowering my camera to savor the moment.  I could not help but think about how lucky I was.  I was close to an animal that future generations may never have the opportunity to see in the wild.

I can still visualize the moment in my head.  That is something that I can still recall whenever I talk to someone about my favorite experience.  I remember that whenever I get so caught up in getting the shot and forget to take in the moment.  As a photographer always make sure you get the shot.  Don’t forget to feel and savor the moment.  Often the story behind the picture is more special than the picture itself.

Keep s\Shooting and Keep Exploring!

Photographing Bald Eagles: The Catch

the catchwordsOver the last several weeks I have been taking short trips to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri to try to photograph bald eagles that are migrating south following the other bird migrations.  It reminds me of my first experience trying to photograph the birds in the wild.  I have spent many long hours in the field trying to photograph different species of animals, but I must say that photographing bald eagles has taught me more about patience than any other animal I have photographed.

During the school year I spend most of my time in western Tennessee.  Often on weekends I will drive down to Shiloh National Military Park to walk the battlefield and photograph.  Last spring I learned about a nesting pair of eagles that call the park home during the spring.  My first day to make my attempt I arrived at the park just as the sun was beginning to rise.  I drove the park and then found the nest where I made myself comfortable for the next 8 hours or so.  After spending the day attempting to capture the birds I did not come home with anything that I felt was worthwhile.

The following week I headed back out to make another attempt.  It was my last weekend in Tennessee before I had to head back to Kansas for the summer.  I arrived early in the morning and prepared myself for a long day in the field.  I photographed as the birds came back and forth from the nest feeding the eaglet.  After spending the day in the field I decided to pack up in the late afternoon.  I was unsure if I had anything worthwhile, but I knew there was a god chance I had something.  When I got home I discovered this photograph of the female coming into the nest with a trout from the Tennessee River.

I must admit that there is something that comes over you when you are close to these majestic birds.  I have been extremely lucky to photograph some pretty amazing wildlife, but bald eagles are special.  There is something about the thrill that comes over me when I am close to these birds.  Shots like this make the long hours in the field worth every minute.  These experiences also are what make me go back for more.  The main lesson I learn from these birds is to be patient and tenacious.    Keep shooting and keep exploring!

Mysterious Wonder

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Over spring break in March of 2013 I was fortunate to spend a couple of days at the Grand Canyon.  It was a thrill to experience the fantastic sunrises and sunsets the landscape offers.  This photograph was taken on my first evening in the Grand Canyon.  I was traveling with some of my family and we arrived about an hour or so before sunset.  I was hoping to scout out a good place to photograph the sunrise the next morning while I took some shots.

We made our way along a paved pathway and past the visitors center on the on the south rim of the canyon.  I would stop occasionally when I found a potential shot.  As the fog started to fall over the canyon and the sun began to set shadows bounced around all over the canyon.  Even though it was not the height of the season there were still several people there.  I knew I was not going to really find an empty or unexplored spot, but there are always possibilities if you look and work at it.

The snow in the late winter added a new dimension to the canyon that many people are not familiar with.  I found this spot as I was moving around.  I liked how the trees could frame the canyon and add a sense of depth and size to the place.  I took several shots from different angles.  Finally, I knelt down in the snow and took some shots from almost ground level.  Luckily for me in this shot the light hit the canyon perfectly reflecting off of the canyon walls and the clouds.  For the first night this was a wonderful experience and a perfect example of trying different angles and getting new perspectives.

Enjoy and Thank you,

Pamela Peters